The ongoing drought conditions in the West, in this one instance, might actually be a good thing. The drought has caused water levels in Lake Mead, shared by Arizona and Nevada, to recede by so much that a ghost town, of what was once St. Thomas, has been revealed.
Founded in 1865 as a Mormon settlement, St. Thomas served as a stop off between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City and boasted 500 residents at its height, according to SFGate.
By 1918, there were six established businesses in St. Thomas — Gentry's Store, R. Hannig Grocery Store, Gentry Hotel, William Sellers Cafe, Howell Garage and Rox Whitmore Meat — according to the Moapa Valley Chamber of Commerce. The community thrived, since it allegedly established itself as an early "tourist attraction." Motorists driving through the area found St. Thomas a welcome and convenient place to stop for food, supplies and car repairs.
However, in 1938, the town was swallowed by the rising Colorado River as construction on the Hoover Damn proceeded.
The town remained beneath Lake Mead under more than 60 feet of water, reappearing occasionally during the droughts of 1946-1947 and 1952, then again in the mid '60s when water from the Colorado River was held back upstream to fill Lake Powell, according to Las Vegas' NBC News 3.
The ghost town slowly started to surface again in 2002 due to lingering drought conditions and has become a part of the landscape ever since.
Now that the remains of the town are visible once again, the National Park Service has cleared a path from the parking area down to the former ghost town, where it's become somewhat of a tourist attraction.